9 alternative things to see & do in Boston, Massachusetts

Samantha Shillabeer

Samantha Shillabeer

The birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston* is a city synonymous with history and the leading attraction is undoubtedly The Freedom Trail, and for good reason.

Alternative things to see and do in Boston
Alternative things to see and do in Boston - photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

This two-and-a-half-mile walking trail tells the story of America*, weaving its way past significant sights including the Benjamin Franklin statue and the Bunker Hill monument.

Then there are the other Boston staples such as cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway Park, taking a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery and chowing down on clam chowder. But there's so much more waiting to be experienced beyond the world-famous attractions.

Getting to Boston: let the experts lead the way on a guided tour of Boston with Titan Travel*. Check out the latest online deals and book your next escape to New England*.

Get on the Charles River

Take an early morning walk along the promenade that lines the Charles River and you're likely to spot college rowers out for a training session.

The Charles River Basin, Boston
The Charles River Basin, Boston - photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

If you're tempted to take to the water yourself, call by Paddle Boston where you can hire kayaks, canoes or paddleboards by the hour or day and set off along the river. If you need a helping hand, join one of the kayak tours. The Sunset Tour comes with the added bonus of unbeatable dusk views.

Star-gaze at the observatory

Every Wednesday evening, weather permitting, Boston University opens its observatory to the public for an hour. Come along for the chance to see the night sky through telescopes and binoculars, and learn a bit of astronomy while you're at it.

Tickets are free but need to be reserved online in advance.

Tackle the Skywalk Observatory

Boston is a city best seen from above and nowhere offers a better bird's-eye view than the Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Center.

From this 50th-floor vantage point, you can look out over the Hancock Tower, Boston Common, Fenway Park and countless other Boston landmarks.

Your ticket also includes entry to the excellent Dreams of Freedom Museum, which celebrates the important role immigration has played in shaping the city.

Enjoy a concert at the library

Throughout the summer, Boston Public Library's beautiful central courtyard plays host to free concerts. Swing by to enjoy the smooth sound of jazz, classical or folk music, while basking in the New England sunshine.

Concerts aside, Boston Public Library is worth a visit in its own right. Join the free one-hour Art & Architecture Tour to find out more about the spectacular buildings, which date from the 19th century.

Stand inside a giant globe at the Mapparium

If you haven't had your photo taken inside a three-story, inside-out globe, have you even really travelled? This one-of-a-kind structure at the Mary Baker Eddy Library measures up at an impressive 30ft in diameter and allows the surface of the earth to be viewed without distortion.

Inside the giant globe at the Mapparium, Boston
Inside the giant globe at the Mapparium, Boston - photo courtesy of Mary Baker Eddy Library

It first opened to the public back in 1935 and the 108 stained-glass panels and LED lights still depict the world as it was back then, when Vietnam was part of French Indochina and colonial powers ruled Africa.

Take a harbour cruise with a difference

There's no shortage of boat tours to choose from in Boston. But if you're looking for something that will get your adrenaline pumping, look no further than Codzilla.

The Codzilla at speed in Boston harbour
The Codzilla at speed in Boston harbour - photo courtesy of Boston Harbor Cruises

This wet-and-wild speedboat ride will see you hurtling across the water with a few hairpin bends and 360-degree spins thrown in for good measure. Factor in an original, and very loud, soundtrack and commentary scripted by Hollywood screenwriters, and you're in for a ride to remember.

Take a dip

If the summer heat leaves you craving a sun lounger, take refuge at one of Boston's outdoor swimming pools. Our pick of the bunch is the swanky rooftop pool at the Colonnade Hotel, which non-hotel guests can use for a fee between Monday and Friday.

If you're on a budget, decamp to one of the city's public pools instead, such as the Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool or the North End's Mirabella Pool.

Eat your way around the city

There's more to Boston's food scene than clam chowder and doughnuts (although that's not a bad place to start). Sample some of the city's most delicious bites on one of the many food tours on offer.

Head to the North End to tuck into Italian specialities and possibly the best cannoli you'll ever eat. Or choose a tour of Jamaica Plain and taste test some of the neighbourhood's microbreweries.

Hop across to Cambridge

Most first-time visitors to Boston never make it north of the Charles River, but cross over to the adjoining city of Cambridge, and you'll find plenty to keep you busy.

Perhaps most well-known for its top-rate universities, including Harvard University and MIT, this historic city is really lively, packed with great restaurants and stylish bars. Take in the main sights on a free, tips-based walking tour.

Weather in Boston

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Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the weather in Boston. You can find out even more about conditions across the state in our complete guide to the weather in Massachusetts.

Ready to discover Boston? Don't miss the latest deals on tours from Titan Travel.

More about Boston

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Samantha Shillabeer

Samantha Shillabeer

Article updated on Thursday 19th January 2023 in: City Excursions North America Virgin Atlantic

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